Tribute has been paid to a nurse from the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate who has died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Mum-of-three Aimee O’Rourke died in the hospital’s Critical Care Unit late yesterday (April 2). The 39-year-old leaves behind daughters, Megan, Mollie and Maddie.
Aimee joined the Acute Medical Unit as a newly qualified nurse in 2017 and ward manager Julie Gammon said the whole team was devastated by her death.
She said: “She was such a kind and caring nurse, and she had a really special relationship with her patients and colleagues.
“Nursing was something she had always wanted to do, although she came to it relatively late after raising her girls.
“She took some time out to care for her mum after she was diagnosed with cancer and she was determined to return and to make her mum proud.
“Aimee was a really valuable part of our work family and would always offer to help if she could. She was really growing and developing in her skills and confidence and I know she would have gone on to have a great career.”
When Aimee was first brought into the hospital with symptoms of COVID-19, she asked for Julie and her colleague was able to sit with her in the emergency department.
Julie said: “It was an honour to be able to be with her and to provide some comfort and I am so glad that I was able to do so.”
Susan Acott, Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals, said the thoughts of everyone at the Trust were with Aimee’s family and friends.
She said: “Aimee was hard-working, dedicated and hugely popular with staff and patients alike. She gave her all to care for our patients and her commitment was evident for all to see.
“On behalf of the whole Trust I would like to offer our sincere condolences to her girls, whom she adored, and to all her family and friends.
“I would also like to pay tribute to our teams in the emergency department and our Critical Care Unit who cared for Aimee with such compassion and kindness.”
Amanda Hallums, Chief Nurse at East Kent Hospitals, said everyone who worked alongside Aimee was heartbroken at her death.
She said: “We are a work family and it is devastating to lose one of our own. Aimee was determined to provide the best possible care to all of her patients and continued to come to work at a time when others were staying at home and inside.
“We will forever remember her smile, her concern for her patients and her colleagues, and her willingness to always go above and beyond.”
A candlelight vigil will be held tonight to mark Aimee’s passing. At 8pm people will light a candle and at 8:30pm people are urged to use a torch or light to shine up to the sky.
Staff at QEQM will also be having a minute’s silence for Aimee at 8pm.
There is also a gofund me appeal to help Aimee’s family which has already raised more than £8,600.
Tribute with thanks to Liz Crudgington